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What are the penalties in Virginia for first time drug offenders?

Being accused of a drug crime is a serious situation. If this is a person's first run-in with the law, this can be a very overwhelming and scary situation. However, even if the accused offender has a criminal history, the penalties that often follow a conviction of a drug charge can be harsh. No matter a person's situation, it is important to understand the scenario and what penalties one might face.

What are the penalties in Virginia for first time drug offenders? With charges related to possession of narcotic drugs, marijuana, stimulants, depressants or hallucinogenic drugs, a first-time offender could have a criminal proceeding against them dismissed provided that they plead guilty, are placed on probation and follow terms and conditions of the plea.

Terms and conditions for a charge related to drug possession require that the accused undergo a substance abuse assessment and also enter a treatment or education program if available. When entering such a program, the accused must pay all costs associated with the program, which includes the cost of screening, assessment, testing and treatment.

As a condition of probation, the court requires that the accused successfully complete the treatment or education program, to remain drug and alcohol free for the period of probation, submit to testing as deemed necessary to determine if the accused is drug and alcohol free, make reasonable effort to secure and maintain employment and complete at least 100 hours of community service. If the terms or conditions of this plea are violated, the court may enter the adjudication of guilt and could face penalties such as jail time and fines.

No matter what your criminal history is, facing a drug charge is a serious matter. The potential penalties can be harsh, making it important to explore possible criminal defense options that could reduce or eliminate the penalties associated with this criminal allegation.

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